Pictures from the Kellerholz-Arena, courtesy of Ian Presslie. This is the home of MC Bergring.
Thanks to Bob Cole for this great link to some old track pictures. Some of the tracks are well known, but others are a little bit more obscure. Particular highlights are New Brighton, Warrington, Staines and Birmingham (Greet Works). There's also a picture of Lythalls Lane in Coventry and Bob reports that the gas holders in the background are on the present day site of the Ricoh Arena.
"The Wilmslow rider between the 1st. and 2nd. Belle Vue riders on the back row is myself Harry Marsh. I am eighty years old now! Incidentally, my father was a member of the Belle Vue midget car team 1935 to 1939."
"Alison Byatt asked about my Dad, "Alison Byatt is looking for information on Sydney Scadding a former Grasstrack/Longtrack rider in New Zealand". Dad lived in NZ long after he had last riden grass-track. He would have been riding back in his army days or earlier - he enlisted in 1933. I think he rode grass-track back in, or around, Southampton. He spoke of bikes that they put together from whatever bits they could get their hands on at the time. If anyone has any information from the early days that might relate to Sydney Alfred Scadding I would be very pleased to hear from them."
A couple of early seventies shots taken at Rye House by Ian Goold. Any more old snaps out there in photo albums that we could publish on the site?
The 'Where Are They Now' page on Facebook continues to grow with 225 former riders and officials now bringing us up to date with their lives. Remember you don't need to be 'on' Facebook to view the page.
"I went regularly from 1946 to1952 when I had to do National Service. What a team, Ron Johnson was the main man but I loved them all especially Mick Mitchell, not very good but what a trier. I have my first programme from my first visit, the London Riders Championship 1946 won by Ron. 1947/48 seasons were wonderful with Jeff Lloyd, Lionel Van Pragg and Bill Longley joining the club. Silly fool that I am, I still go over to the old site and relive those great days. Up the Rangers."
"I knew Jack Millen in the 70s when he rode for Stoke. I would love to buy photos of Jack . If any one can help me please get back to me on 07796274342. I really miss Jack as he was such a character. I used to help him with his bike at weekends and prepare the track ready for the race. R.I.P Jack."
"Yes Mr Weber, I appreciate your explanation and in depth knowledge. But, when I was in Austria last year the offical OAMTC register showed the Eggendof track as the home of Zweigverein Wiener Neustadt, not the old stadium in town."
"What a wonderful set of images from Fred Pallett. I just love these kind of fan's eye view photos. I especially like the New Cross photo looking towards the starting gate. It really shows how the fourth bend virtually ends at the finish line. Thank you Fred. "
John has been a Belle Vue fan since the fifties. Here he shares some memories and thoughts on the sport.
Friends of Speedway (a non-profit making organisation who are proud to sponsor the British Youth Championship - formerly the Under 15's) are pleased to announce the 51st edition of their magazine the Voicewhich is packed full of interest and enjoyment.
This issue is a big 24 pages that will keep your interest for hours!
In this issue David Telfer gives his views on the rules, the Grand Prix scoring system and the best Elite league meeting of the year; Annette Maybach gives her thoughts on speedway in general; John Chaplin with a festive Dirt-Track Dracula tale plus remembering Peter Craven; 'Slider' gives his view on the new world champion and the current state of speedway; Charles Mckay gives a long and involved view on the National Speedway Stadium; Sue Towner reports on Tai Woffinden's World Championship, televised speedway next year and a training day at Iwade; Roy Delaney on the Lion Slayer Ron Johnson; John Hyam informs about Hungarian speedway and much more.
Available from Friends of Speedway ; 117 Church Lane , Chessington, Surrey KT9 2DP. Please send your cheque for £10 made out to the above for four issues of the Voice to Stuart Towner at the above address or ring 0208-397 6599 for more information.
"It is great to see, pictures of Harringay as this was the very first place my dad ever went to watch. Before his death in 2003 he use to tell me stories of how he use to get the bus there on his own to go and watch. "
"Great article on the covers kept by BSP at Swindon, after attending the debacle that was the Elite League Riders Championship, it seems to me it could have been avoided by deployment of covers before the shower, which was forecasted accurately ( for a change) from early sat' morning, I know we checked many times and sites. Between 4/5o'clock, and no further rain. I feel if I am paying a premium entrance fee the least I could expect is a professional track prep'. I am really disappointed and will defiantly not be attending many more meetings if standards are not raised. Feeling well ripped off by BSPA, and certain so called stars who could not be bothered and withdrew. The track was not that bad as lack of fallers & incidents indicated, well done to Rory and the half a dozen others who gave it a good go, but as for Ward & co, I will not be paying to watch them again, contempt for fans deserves contempt back, rant over thanks."
"A full house at Derwent Park - but sadly not for speedway. When I toured British speedway tracks earlier this year researching my new book, Classic Speedway Venues Past & Present, I really enjoyed an evening at Workington, a very traditional stadium, extremely well-appointed by modern speedway standards and with a great atmosphere. Interesting to see that, according to the BBC, the attendance for the Scotland-Italy match in the Rugby League World Cup on Sunday November 3 was 7,280, a full house. Derwent Park has enjoyed considerable recent refurbishment to allow two RL World Cup games to take place. I imagine the ability to hold a crowd of that size means Derwent Park has the largest spectator capacity of any current British speedway venue (with the exception of the Millennium Stadium, obviously). Although it would be marvellous to see such a crowd turn out these days for a speedway meeting other than the UK Grand Prix, I think it would be fair to say that Workington Comets probably get a bigger average home crowd than Workington Town RLFC. "
"So good to read of the days gone by. As a Brummies support I saw all the greats. Although not able to put them in order as they were all super I can say that my favourites were Wilbur Lamoreaux, Graham Warren, Jack Parker. I remember when Graham challenged Jack Parker for the Golden Helmet at Perry Barr. Graham fell and Jack retained the title which had become known as "Parker's Pension". Great days."
"I don't see this as the conspiracy it is being made out to be. If anything the only possible conspiracy was by the British SCB to try to keep Mauger out of the World Championship for reasons best known to themselves. To my knowledge the ascertion that the top two from the National Championships would go to the Overseas Final was never going to happen, so if the NZ officials told the riders they would be, they had no right to say that. The Australasian Final was in doubt at least as early as December 1981 when the Australian Speedway Control Council heard the company running the Wellington track was in financial trouble. The Wellington promoter, Tony Nesbitt, subsequently said he could not raise the necessary financial backing to run the meeting. Instead of the NZSCB simply moving the event to another venue, they tried to reduce costs by cutting the number of Australian riders.
Nesbitt first applied to the NZSCB to have the number of Australians reduced from 8 to 4. The Australian Speedway Control Council immediately rejected that suggestion and they raised the question about whether the meeting should be held in Wellington at all. The NZSCB then came back with the offer of 6 spots for Australians, or for the top 2 from the national championships to be seeded to the Overseas Final. The ASCC viewed the latter as totally unacceptable, and reluctantly agreed to the offer of 6 spots, believing running with just 6 Australians was better than having no Australasian Final. So when the Australian Final was held (a fortnight before the NZ Final) the riders rode on the understanding the top 6 would qualify for the Australasian Final. Nesbitt then sold his interest in Wellington and the new promoter did not want to stage the meeting. The NZSCB then offered the meeting to Australia and it was agreed to run the meeting in Brisbane. The only proviso was that the date be changed from 27 Feb to 13 March because the Brisbane promoters said there was no way they could get a good crowd with only a couple of weeks to advertise the meeting.
The FIM approved the change of venue but not the change of date, so that was Brisbane out. Christchurch then looked at running the meeting but wanted the NZSCB and the NZACU to underwrite the meeting, which they would not do, so the Australasian Final was dead. It was then decided to run both an Australian Qualifying Final and a NZ Qualifying Final. Both would have 16 riders competing, those 16 being the 8 from each country who had qualified for the Australasian Final (as was originally intended before the suggestion of 6 Aussies) plus another 8 to allow the meetings to be held over the 20 heat format, but only the riders who were eligible for the Australasian Final were eligible to qualify for the Overseas Final. Nothing shady about that as I see it.
As for the line-up for the NZ Qualifying Final, the same rules would have applied as for the Australasian final, that is if one of the top 8 were unavailable the ninth rider would have taken his place as a legitimate qualifier. So when John Goodall and Mike Fullerton withdrew, the 9th and 10th finishers from the NZ Championship legitimately took their places. Hence Ivan Mauger had a legitimate right to be in the Qualifying meeting as one of the 8 qualifiers. So to this point Mauger has had no say it what would be done, and has ridden as a legitmate qualifier.
As far as the Overseas Final goes the British Speedway Control Board did refuse to accept Mauger’s qualification. As he had legimately qualified I can only assume this was for some personal reason against Mauger? Mauger had every right to ride in the Overseas Final and understandably challenged the BSCB ban and won. Love or hate Mauger, I can not see where he has done anything wrong, or that he has got anything he was not entitled to. If Mitch Shirra and John Goodall thought they were the rightful qualifiers for the Overseas Final that is down to a problem with the NZSCB. To my knowledge the FIM was never asked if the qualifiers could be the top two from the National Championship so the riders should never have been told that was going to happen. Also were they told it “would” happen or it “may” happen.
As for Mauger riding in the Overseas Final just to deprive Shirra of a place, I don't buy that either. As we all know Mauger was probably the most driven speedway rider there has ever been and I don't believe he would have given up a chance to ride in a World Final for any reason whatsoever, least of all just to keep another rider out. As for the comment "Ivan told me, he and Briggs had issues with Mitch Shirra's lifestyle. Seems they had no problem with the Yanks." I think anyone who has ever discussed drugs with Mauger will know he had very strong views on riders using drugs, and I know riders were not selected for, and/or kicked off his Golden Helmet tours of Australia because of drug use. "